I love freckles on kids, but not so much on bananas ...unless I'm in the mood for banana bread. For eating out of hand ...or sliced on yogurt or cereal ...or cut up in a fruit salad, I absolutely require frecklefree bananas that are still firm and faintly green. Picky, picky, I know. Soft bananas with brown spots are peeled and dispatched to the freezer, waiting to join the party in a blender for a morning smoothie, or maybe turn into The Best? Banana Bread from a recipe found online at epicurious.
Our recent spurt of hot weather hurried three small bananas along on a rapid ripening journey from almost-ready to oops! soft-and-spotted status. Three small bananas aren't sufficient for a full loaf of banana bread and the freezer already held an ample supply of frozen over-ripe fruit, so today I opted to make muffins, adapting the Zucchini Banana Bread recipe found at Two Peas and Their Pod. The basic recipe is quite tasty, but why stop there? You can produce amazingly different muffins, depending on which optional add-ins or flavorings you select.
Go for it! Have fun and play around with the recipe. Sometimes those full-flavored, soft and spotted bananas are a good thing.
Banana Zucchini Muffinsadapted from a recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod
yield: 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 small, very ripe bananas (2 mashed smooth, 1 in small chunks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup loosely-packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry in paper towel or tea towel
Optional Add-ins & Flavorings
Finely chopped nuts
Dried fruit (currants, sultanas)
Coconut shreds or flakes
Orange or lime zest
Powdered or freshly grated ginger
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with liners or grease each cup.
- Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to a large bowl; stir to combine, being careful to keep the banana chunks intact.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture; fold gently with a rubber spatula until flour is incorporated. Add any optional items if using.
- Use a scoop or ladle to fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Place in oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire baking rack.